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How Can I Stop Hair Breakage When Going Blonde?


Who doesn't like to go blonde?

  • Many many women in America love being blonde or going blonde.
  • And yet going blonde for most women does involve significant lifting and coloring.
  • When this is correctly done by an expert colorist using good products and good techniques, this is not a problem.
  • In fact, after a quality color job hair is typically fuller, thicker and in better condition - thanks to all the cosmetic products that modern many colors are packed with these days.
  • But if you use poor products or poor techniques, you can end up with major breakage.
  • In this blog we will go through some of the issues that typically occur and some of the solutions that we recommend.

What causes hair breakage?

  • Permanent artificial hair color works by opening up the hair shaft, breaking down the natural pigments which are in it and and replacing them with artificial color molecules.
  • Typically, when done correctly the hair condition actually improves because these artificial color molecules plump up the hair and make it thicker, stronger and more consistent
  • But when you use excessive developer strength (for example 40 Volume developer) you open up the shaft a lot more and that can cause the hair to break open.
  • Also, when you use a poor quality bleach for uncontrolled periods of time (remember, bleach continues to activate while it is sitting on the hair) that has the same result also.
  • The worst is of course the double whammy - poor quality of bleach combined with a developer strength which is excessively high.

Why is blonde or bleached hair particularly prone to breakage?

  • Natural blonde hair is thinner and weaker than natural brown hair anyway - that's just a fact.
  • When you dye hair blonde or bleach it will get So when you want to change your hair color to something lighter than natural -- either by going platinum or just shifting shades -- the original pigments have got to go. Bleach works by going into the hair shaft and reacting with the stable pigment molecules, breaking them down into components that will wash right out of your hair and down the drain.

Why are the ends so vulnerable to hair breakage?

  • Take a look at this picture below.
  • You can see that the ends are much whiter and also in much poorer condition
  • The reason is that the ends are much older (at least a year and a half older for shoulder-length hair).
  • Also they have been colored and bleached repeatedly.
  • In contrast, as you can see, the mid-lengths are actually brassy and need lifting and coloring. 
  • This is a very common problem in women who color their hair blonde

What are the best steps to not get hair breakage when going blonde?

  • First, be very conscious of the differential between mid-lengths and ends. Do not excessively recolor or re-bleach the ends if they are already white.
  • This would be the number one solution to avoid hair breakage.
  • Second, respect developer usage rules. 20 Vol developer for 1-2 levels lift, 30 Vol developer for 2-3 levels lift.
  • In cases where you need to lift by more than 3 levels, it is always better to use bleach on that part - and on that part alone (not the ends).
  • Third, when bleaching, use a high quality bleach which has sufficient lift and which will not require to be paired with excessively high developer strength.
  • We do recommend that you use Ugly Duckling bleaches, as they do meet the above criteria.
  • Many beauty store bleaches (without going into names) don't.

What is the best way to avoid hair breakage when you bleach?

  • If hair breakage is a concern for you, or if you are trying to go very blonde, we do recommend that you use Brilliant Blondexx Anti Hair Breakage Bleach.
  • Brilliant Blondexx contains a substance called Maleic Acid which is essentially an ingredient that protects and builds the bonds in your or your client's hair.
  • Essentially, you protect and strengthen the hair at the very moment when the cuticle is open and you reinforce the hair cuticle.
  • After bleaching and coloring, we would recommend Brilliant Blondexx Shampoo and Mask Treatment.
  • These products help close the cuticle after bleaching and coloring and strengthen it further.
  • They can also be used as maintenance products on a regular basis.
  • They will strengthen the hair fibre and keep hair breakage to a minimum.
About the author

Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.